• 2011
  • Garaje Hangar 23

  • +
  • 2011
  • Garaje Hangar 23

Hangar 23 is a theater in Rouen, in western France. Its programming offers a very broad spectrum, from theater to dance, and from circus to world music. To illustrate this variety, but also the context of the Hangar surrounded by the port and containers, I created a monospace version of Garaje 0703 Black, with many alternates, which color the message differently. Unpublished

  • 2009
  • Mononi

  • +
  • 2009
  • Mononi

Mononi is a monolinear, sans serif version of the famous Bodoni, cut by Giambattista Bodoni in Parma at the end of the 19th century. I first created it for the visual identity of the Théâtre musical Besançon, a theater built at the same time by the architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux. Mononi has a classic and refined structure, a baroque italic, but traced with a ballpoint pen. Combined with a normographer’s aesthetic, deliberately very crude, Mononi’s weights are growing from its skeleton. A special version, Mononi Zero, has no body. It is up to the user to determine the thickness of the line, thus allowing a multitude of weights, down to the finest hairlines. In 2012, I added Mononi Monospace versions, for the same theater which became the Scène nationale de Besançon. Soon available on www.205.tf

  • 2011
  • MM — Typeface

  • +
  • 2011
  • MM — Typeface

Ten years ago, when I was teaching at the school of fine arts in Besançon, one of my students, Julie Chu, carried out a very interesting project for her Master's degree, on the subject of interbreeding.
She had photographed the portraits of many girls in the school, and superimposed them: around forty faces, with low opacity, produced a new face. The result was surprising: a face that does not exist, certainly, but very beautiful. Seeing this work, I wondered if we could do the same thing, not with faces but with typefaces.
At the same time, I started working for the visual identity of a museum in Montbéliard, which holds important galleries devoted to natural history galleries, and in particular to the evolution of species: a famous zoologist and naturalist, Georges Cuvier, was born in Montbéliard in 1769. I took a closer look at Cuvier's theories, and in particular the fairly virulent debates that animated the Paris Academy of Sciences at the beginning of the 19th century. To be short, On the one hand there were the evolutionists, like Lamarck, and on the other the fixists, like Cuvier. Evolutionists believed in the gradual transmutation of one form into another: this led to the famous Darwin theories a little later.
Cuvier strongly disagreed. On the contrary, he believed that the species appeared and then suddenly disappeared, without changing during their existence.
I wondered, for the visual identity of the Musée de Montbéliard, if I could create two types of characters: one based on evolutionist theories, the other on fixist theories.
I picked 8 different text typefaces, very famous, which represent the main periods in the history of typography: Jenson, Garamond, Caslon, Baskerville,Bodoni, Century, Times New Roman, and Georgia. I used the amazing « Blend Fonts » feature in FontLab Studio and crossed the species over 4 generations, to get an average font, a kind of typographic chimera.
To accompany the text typeface, I wanted « fixist » a bold sans serif, which would be created from models of this family. Rather than interpolating these drawings, I chose a few letters in each, without changing it. This makes no sense, structurally. Some letters intersect vertically, others horizontally, or obliquely. Sometimes even in the same letter, like the C. To obtain a correct weight and proportions, these are not simple copy / paste, but rather interpretations. I wanted to see, in this way, if something acceptable could come out of this mess. I also add an evolutionist italic for the text one, and get a small family of three fonts. The bowl of italic lowercase k is ridiculous: the reason why is that this detail did not appear systematically in previous generations. These typefaces are full of such idiosyncrasies, which I don’t consider as defaults, but rather as traces of the process. I don't think theses fonts will ever be released: it was fun to do, and actually I'm using it for years for all the publications, scenography and signage of the museum. It's called MM Serif and MM Sans, for Musée de Montbéliard: and as a reference for Multiple Masters (there are several masters in it, obviously) and Adobe Serif MM et Sans MM, the substitution fonts used by Acrobat when a font is missing within a PDF file. Another kind of typographic chimera, in a way.

  • 2020
  • Garaje Wide

  • +
  • 2020
  • Garaje Wide

Garaje takes its inspiration both from the alphabets of the Bauhaus school and the vernacular inscriptions of Spanish garage owners: two worlds that share a desire to reduce typographic forms to simple geometric elements. At the Bauhaus this geometrization is ideological: it represents a rejection of tradition and the affirmation of an objective and rational vocabulary. With garage owners it is a simple matter of logic, certainly due to an ignorance of tradition. It is somewhat naïve to wish to reduce the shapes of the alphabet to elementary forms. Perfect geometrical forms seem less than perfect to our eyes: type Design abounds with optical corrections that compensate for our perception of forms.
Garaje plays specifically with this paradox: its construction is rigorously geometrical, anchored to a scalable modular grid, with no optical correction. A perfectly objective system, but a typographical aberration, simultaneously right and wrong. For the last 20 years, I have extended this family in every direction, to the point of absurdity: extremely narrow or outlandishly wide letterforms, all built from the same modules. Today it is a complete system, available in 44 widths and 5 weights. The complete family counts 445 fonts, hundreds of thousands of glyphs, and zero contrast: Garaje is a typeface which is at the same time brutal and playful, rational and naïve. Garaje Wide subfamily goes from 0505 (5 on 5 grid) to 05015 (5 on 15 grid) and includes 55 fonts + 1 variable font. Its construction allows to compose in many widths without changing the stem weight.
Available at 205TF.
Online specimen

  • 2010
  • Antiques Étroites

  • +
  • 2010
  • Antiques Étroites

Antique Étroite is first a metal type that I discovered in the typography workshop of the School of Fine Arts of Besançon, where I studied. It is part of the numerous anonymous sans serifs, of unknown origin, of the beginning of the XXth century. Its design is far from perfect, but it is precisely these imperfections that I like: odd proportions, unconsistency, which produce an interesting flavour that I wanted to restore in digital form. I adapted the 60pt size, before noting that the different sizes of the family presented huge differences: a lack of coordination in its development, less systematic in the techniques of the time. I therefore digitized all the sizes, respecting the errors and approximations of the sources. Unpublished

  • 2009
  • Utopies & innovations — Typeface

  • +
  • 2009
  • Utopies & innovations — Typeface

The Métropole Rhin-Rhône area has brought together several cities between France, Switzerland and Germany, connected in 2010 by a high-speed train line. To materialize this network, a major cultural operation was imagined, utopies & innovations. Under the general curation of Laurent Gerverau, these are 12 local themes, and dozens of exhibitions that are scheduled throughout 2010, around these concepts.
It seemed difficult to illustrate these concepts with a single image: also, I preferred to propose an alphabet, which constitutes the visual identity, and ensures the link between the multiple variations. It is used to compose the logotype, which was designed when the Metropolis had only 9 cities; they were symbolized by the 9 points that appeared in the words "utopias & innovations", like 9 points on a map, network, route ... The metropolis then moved to 16 cities, but the logo remained the same.

  • 2009
  • Totema

  • +
  • 2009
  • Totema

Totema is an encrypted character, adapted from the writing of the painter Klaus Ramka, who uses it in his own publications. It's up to you to unravel the mystery.
Produced with the help of Sébastien Truchet.

  • 2012
  • La Coursive

  • +
  • 2012
  • La Coursive

La Coursive is a structure based in Dijon which supports companies in the cultural and creative industries. It is located in a singular building, where passageways, between the floors, give access to the apartments located above and below. To illustrate both this principle, the facade of the building, but also the circulation of knowledge and skills within this structure, I developed an Inline version of Garaje, where the letters are open and communicate with each other. With the help of Guillaume Delamarche, intern at the studio. Unpublished